In Copenhagen, where more than half the residents commute by bike, cycling is a way to feel like a local. But before joining the estimated 40,000 cyclists who cross Queen Louise’s Bridge each day, review a few rules of the road.

Where to Rent

Many hotels offer bike rentals, or visit Baisikeli Bike Rentals in Vesterbro or City Centre to select a bike (first come, first served). Rent a Bike in Copenhagen requires online reservations, ensuring a bike will be awaiting you at its City Centre shop.

Where to Bike 

Look for designated bike lanes. (Photograph by Alper Çuğun, Flickr)

Look for designated bike lanes. (Photograph by Alper Çuğun, Flickr)

Look for the ubiquitous blue-and-white posts or painted lines marking bike lanes. Concrete curbs often separate designated cycle lanes and cars. Blue “Gågade Zone” signs indicate pedestrian-only streets.

Safety First

Make sure your bike comes with a handlebar bell to alert riders when passing (always on the left). Use hand signals when stopping or turning (right turns on red are illegal). Stop for bus passengers who are boarding or disembarking. At intersections, follow the cycle-specific traffic signals and blue path.

> Other Nuts and Bolts:

Where to Stay 

Down a cobblestoned lane between Peblinge Lake and Nansensgade’s cafés is Kong Arthur, four buildings around an inner courtyard. New in June 2013, one-room Central Hotel & Café near Værnedamsvej is a microcosm of Danish design: functional, simple, and fun. The hotel is the renovated upper floor of a story-book house built in 1905 as a cobbler’s shop.

Where to Eat 

The Hotel Kong Arthur (Photograph by dbarradas, Flickr)

The Hotel Kong Arthur (Photograph by dbarradas, Flickr)

Geranium head chef Rasmus Kofoed creates innovative 20-course, terroir-based Nordic tasting menus using earthy items such as pine needles, beetroot, berries, and stems. The modern restaurant’s perch atop Parken, Denmark’s national stadium, seems questionable until you see the city views.

Otherwise, find spirited conversation, tight table space, natural wines, organic coffee, and local small plates at Manfreds & Vin in Nørrebro–except on Mondays, when the establishment is closed.

What to Read 

Kerrigan in Copenhagen: A Love Story, by Thomas E. Kennedy: a bittersweet novel disguised as a guidebook to Copenhagen’s more than 1,500 drinking establishments.

Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine, by René Redzepi: a handsome coffee-table book celebrating one of the world’s most innovative restaurants and featuring 90 recipes.

What to Snap (and How)

“A striking feature of modern Copenhagen is all the new buildings constructed around the harbor,” says photographer Sisse Brimberg.

“When shooting them, avoid exaggerated perspective and converging verticals (this is when the buildings appear to point backward). Find a shooting platform that allows you to keep your camera level. Make sure your vertical lines in the frame are parallel to the edges of your viewfinder. Shoot at mid-height of the building, and look for an object, or people, in the foreground that fills the empty space.”

This piece, written by Maryellen Duckett, appeared in the November 2013 issue of Traveler magazine.

Comments

  1. keerthi kumar
    Bangalore, India
    January 24, 4:18 am

    In India cycle is a life partner,Postman to deliver daily post,in the morning news paper boys to deliver daily news papers,vegetable and milk vendors, in the villages it is all purpose again school children in villages go by cycle to school, in Mumbai dubbavalas food carry lunch carriers to all working class,Cycle use is healthy and grow the economy of the country.

  2. Rand @WellTraveledMile
    December 10, 2013, 12:59 pm

    I truly loved Copenhagen! The way the city was designed allows you to get around safely and comfortable on bike or by foot. We should learn from them!

  3. Contented Traveller
    Australia
    December 9, 2013, 11:37 pm

    If Copenhagen is anything like Amsterdam then you need a really big bike and sit up super straight on it going at break neck speeds. Can’t be that hard can it?